U.S. livestock futures were mostly lower again Tuesday, extending a sharp slide as traders continued to digest worsening drought conditions and a surge in corn prices. Lean-hog futures were mostly lower as well.
July hogs bucked the trend and gained 30 to 93.65, the August contract lost 15 to close at 89.00. June live cattle closed down 45 at $115, August feeders fell 210 to $147.
U.S. corn futures rallied Tuesday, extending the week's surge as traders factor in the risk of stressful weather deteriorating crop yield potential. July corn climbed 15 to $6.46.
Soybeans fell, as traders booked profits on recent gains. Traders are cautiously bullish on the soybean market, as investors acknowledge soybean crops still have the ability to recover yields after stressful weather, as their critical growing period isn't until late July or early August, analysts said. July soybeans fell 12 to $14.70. September wheat in Chicago rose 6 to $7.47, and September Wheat in KC climbed 2 1/2 to $7.51.
ICE cotton futures fell further, but the market has to grapple with the USDA's weekly export-sales figures and the agency's final acreage estimate for the 2012-13 season, which may indicate fewer plantings this season due to low prices. December cotton fell 216 to end at 68.20 while thinly traded July slid 215 to 68.31.
Gold futures fell amid quiet trading Tuesday and rising anxiety about Europe's bank crisis as investors remain skeptical about the upcoming European Union summit. August gold fell $13.50 to $1,574.90, August silver dropped 45 to $27.06.
Sweet crude futures for August delivery got a boost Tuesday from their European oil counterpart, recovering from earlier losses and settling at $79.36 a barrel, up 15 cents. The jump followed choppy trading throughout the day in U.S. futures, even as Brent futures rose substantially. July gasoline settled at $2.64 a gallon, down a fraction, and July distillates closed at $2.57 a gallon, up 3.8 cents.
Natural gas futures rose to a five-month high Tuesday, as forecasts calling for high temperatures across the U.S. could raise demand for the fuel. July Natural gas gained 7.3 cents to $2.76
On Wall Street, major stock indexes bounced back on Tuesday, but trading was light as the outlook remained clouded by doubts ahead of yet another summit to tackle the European debt crisis. The Dow gained 32 to close at 12,534, the Nasdaq closed at 2,854, up 17 and the S&P 500 gained 6 ¼ to close at 1,319.